Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy 15th Birthday Noah!

Oh my gosh...I cannot believe you are 15 years old today. Seems like only a few short days ago you were born...not 15 years. Amazing how fast time goes by. Bittersweet actually.

You are growing into quite the young man...and getting very tall, very quickly. You are a good head taller or more than your mama now.

I wish you the best life has to offer....filled with all the wonderful blessings you can imagine....good health forever, happiness and much success in anything you choose.

I will love you to the moon and back, again and again and again, forever and ever and ever!


This year you had a Doctor Who Tardis cake.....and you received a Doctor Who scarf (same as the 4th Doctor Who wore in the series) for love that scarf. You came out wearing it with your pajamas on the other morning. Here are a couple of pics....and one of you and me at Christmas. See how tall you are getting? AND you with your cousins..Alex 21 and Audrey 14.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dear often say such profound things...

Noah and I went to see the movie "Frozen" last week...we had free passes...anyway....the next day while talking about the movie...Noah said "I think that is the most genuinely happy I have ever felt in my life for a long time!" I asked him what he meant by that...thinking he felt happy all the time. He has always seemed a happy kid...ever since he was little. He has a hard time explaining things but finally said it was because the entire time he sat there watching it...he was smiling...all the time...and it was EASY to smile....not a forced smile like I guess he has had to learn to do sometimes in his life...this smile and happiness all came very easily while he watched a simple movie. It was almost a musical animated movie...and he liked the music...we did bust out laughing a LOT through the movie...and could just about predict when they would break out in song and dance...even that became funny. BUT it was his statement that was profound and offered a lot of insight for me into his someone with autism has to learn to express his emotions and DISPLAY them to the point where they do not come all that naturally but are things learned....sometimes forced....and I guess for this one brief moment in time..he felt what he called "true happiness"...and it was because of the EASE it was for him to actually FEEL happy and be able to smile without even "thinking" about it....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ROAD TRIP/FIELD TRIP to SNOOK's DREAM CARS automobile museum in Bowling Green, Ohio

Dear Noah.....well...we finally decided to take a road trip/field trip yesterday on my day off from work. We decided to take a 2-hour drive up to SNOOK's Dream Cars Automobile Museum and check it out. We had an awesome drive up...and you got to see all sorts of things you have never seen before. I think you enjoyed the drive up and back more than even said so..but you did really enjoy the entire trip too. So did I and I have to say I managed to walk around pretty well and lasted the entire day and then some!

Snook's was incredible. It looks like an old Texaco Gas Station and inside it is filled with all sorts of memorabilia and cars from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Just awesome and definitely a place to go back to.

SO many pics...I will post a couple here...You also got to see a  large body of water for the first time...Grand Lake St. Mary's....and a cool old retro-looking Denny's Findlay, Ohio. We stopped at Jeffrey's Antique Gallery and Homestead Collections in Findlay, Ohio. ALL amazing places with all sorts of goodies to look at and purchase! LOTS MORE walking too!

We even stopped for groceries and at the dollar store before heading home. We had a busy day and a great day! WONDERFUL weather for a drive though it did finally rain on the way home.

We may plan another road trip/field trip soon...but we need to decide where. We have a few places we would like to go to this year and next.

I love you. I really enjoyed my day with you yesterday and our time together!


Well..I will have to add pics later. I have tried THREE times and nothing is working.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear are growing up so quickly....

wow..Noah is not yet 15 years old and already thinking "adult thoughts" he said...which means for him "he said"....learning to do his driving lessons...MOVING OUT on his own....He told me this on a drive home last night. He has mentioned it before to me...and I am actually teaching him all these life skills and more at home this year in he will be very prepared...but then he said he thought maybe he would move to Missouri! When I asked him WHY he said it was "halfway between his mom and dad"....He has talked often about moving to different states and living near their capitals.

It is my job to get  him ready to be out in the world one day....and we have much to do to get him to that point, probably more than with another young adult who did not have some of his other issues....and while he is very much looking forward to that day....I am just thankful I have a few more years to get used to the idea and hopefully adjusted to a life without him physically in it every day since he was born that is how my life has been. I adjusted my life to be home with him full time to work with him and his autism and sensory integration issues and generalized anxiety issues and speech delay and physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and then eventually homeschooling. Hard to imagine the day when he will finally be ready to be on his own let alone grasp that idea...and while some parents look forward to that day or push their kids out maybe even before they are ready...I enjoy all my time with Noah and imagine I will feel more than lost without him here all the time as he has always been. SO...besides working with him to  prepare him for his future life on his own...I will have to work with myself to prepare myself for my future life on my own. 

I love you Noah ...probably so much more than you are likely to ever really know or understand.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dear thankful for you....

As I watch you growing up seemingly by the minute...each day getting taller and taller....I am still so thankful you are more than willing to give lots of hugs and kisses to your ole' mama....and still love to snuggle and laugh so much. I LOVE spending time with you Noah Wesley and hope you always enjoy spending time with me.

I love you to the moon and back, forever and ever and infinity and beyond (we started saying this to each  other way back in Colorado you still remember it?)


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Noah over the years.....surrounded by pumpkins.....

Every year we try to go back and take a new photo at the same location so we can look back one day and see how much Noah has grown. I was going through a few today...hard to believe he will soon be 15 years old! are such a great kid...always have been..always will be. I love you!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Dear Noah....slowly getting back into a school routine of sorts

We have been spending time just going over things we want to cover this year...looking at websites and materials we will be using....and you are very excited about school this year as am I.

Hard to believe it is going into 2nd week of September already.

A blink and it will be Halloween....

Another blink...Thanksgiving....

Then will be Christmas and New Year's....and

BLINK....another who new year begins again.

Does not seem possible you will be 15 years old end of December either.

Wow.....we best get cracking!

I love you!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Dear Noah.....a painting of you when little...

just decided to do a painting of you when you were little  yesterday...and I like how it turned out. You then asked if I could do one of you and how you look I guess that will be my next project.

I love very much Noah.


Saturday, August 03, 2013

Dear Noah...Monster trucks are in town....

and you got to see one up close and personal. They are having a show at our local racetrack (Eldora Speedway) so we may go and see it....we have  not really decided for sure. Since it is OUTdoors it might be okay and the sound would  probably not bother you too much..though I imagine we still might need ear protection. I think about how far we may have to walk or go up any steps into bleachers..etc...and wonder if I can maneuver ...but we will see. It is supposed to rain but maybe the weather will hold. Here you are with Captain Curse...

On another note entirely, I realized the last few days that kids with autism as they go through life are a lot different than their all their accomplishments and achievements are some of the same milestones their peers have already achieved a long time ago. Some kids with autism may never even achieve simple developmental milestones, whether they be physical, emotional or both. Most are private and personal...and there is no big award ceremony or banquet or big public display of acknowledgment for what you have accomplished.

While I am okay with this (as I am sure you are Noah)...I do try to make all the things you finally do overcome a big deal here for you personally...or at least I try to. Personally, I do not hold necessarily higher esteem for someone who can do certain things more so than someone else. So what, you know? But the PUBLIC RECOGNITION of their accomplishments exists for them, whereas for someone like you, at least right now with your TYPE of accomplishments, you will most likely not experience this. Most of your achievements probably seem very small to most people....and most would wonder why you have not already mastered them.

This has made me feel odd and I am not sure why. I have spent the last few days trying to figure out what bothers me about any of this. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think it is because all your achievements and goals you meet are JUST AS BIG and IMPORTANT as anyone else's and while maybe not being able to be publicly recognized, should somehow still be recognized. But we don't have award ceremonies for an autistic child approaching his teen years (for example) who has finally learned to go do number 2 all by himself and wipe his own bottom. We don't hold banquets for autistic kids who can finally let something "go" that used to bother them and take over their whole day with worry and repetition or meltdowns. No one is there to acknowledge when you finally can print  your name or write anything at all, even though it still might look like it was handwritten by a 2nd grader. There is no announcement to the masses when you can finally go up to another child and say hello and ask them their name without prompting. The list is long and I could go on and on....but the end is the same.

I imagine most in our immediate world around us, while recognizing you have come a long way, probably still have no real idea of just how far that has actually been. Most do not ever even ask. Most do not make any comments to me, let alone to you.

Here, your autism comes in handy as you really do not care lol...and part of me does not either....and yet I still feel odd about it all. Do I think you are missing out on something? Am I afraid others think  you are somehow LESS than they are? NOT keeping up?

I know you will surpass many in your lifetime. I have no worries. I also know there are many areas where you will likely always be a little bit or a big bit behind your peers. That is okay too, though I do admit I worry about your safety sometimes in the world.

I love you Noah no matter what. We will continue plugging along with school and working on things to prepare you to be on your own one day. It is, I guess, more of a "private" thing we do...and I guess as long as we know what is happening, that is all that really matters anyway.

Mom (still want to say Mommy but I know you don't call me that anymore)

You are growing up so fast. I love you.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dear Noah...paddle boating with my cousin....outing at your great uncle and aunt's house

Needless to say you and I had a great time and you want to do the paddle boats again next visit! I will keep this short. Hard to believe we are in the middle of July already! I love you Noah!!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dear Noah.....visit with grandma C.....and puffy clouds...

Just a quick  update. We had a nice visit with grandma C. on Sunday. SO MANY beautiful clouds on the drive home..they were gorgeous. Once back home..the sun was out but some clouds were all around us...lots of blue sky though..and I heard this sound and thought the wind had  picked up. Here it was RAIN! It was pouring down rain and the SUN WAS SHINING the entire time it rained! There must have been a rain cloud over our house...never saw any around us but wow did it rain! We saw a rainbow over the neighbor's house across the street and you really were excited to see it rain when it was SUNNY outside as you really have not ever seen that before. I can probably count only on 1 hand the number of times I have seen this  happen in my lifetime and I have never seen it rain so hard in the sunshine as it did on Sunday. are a couple of pics. I love ya!


Thursday, July 04, 2013

Dear are growing up so fast...

This was before you got your hair cut. I think you look great with longer hair...and also the shorter hair. You are a cutie...and I love you very much.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dear Noah...wrapping it up.... is pretty much wrapped up for the year. You have a final in Algebra and Language Arts but otherwise you are done and have been. I think they will let you all do some extra credit if you want as well.

We have decided not to continue with Ohio Virtual Academy for your high school years. I think it was great for elementary and middle school but there are many changes in high school that are going to be huge problems for you.

The classes will no longer be self-paced. Even with an may get behind or be totally stressed out and not really grasping everything you could at the pace they set in high school. You actually did 2 high school classes this year and it is completely different than middle school. In high school you will be required to attend class have 6 classes daily and most will have class connects. You will also still have all your regular classwork and assignments to do in addition to these because if these class connects are like the ones we have attended thus far....I am sorry to say it is more a waste of time as it goes very slow and usually covers things you have already covered yourself or with my help. SO...we end up spending time there when it could have been used elsewhere. The school is saying you will work on assignments due that day in the class connects and not have to spend any additional time on your own to do work, but we already know that is not ever usually the case. We had heard there were reports of kids spending a lot more than 6 hours per day on school could potentially spend 6 hours per day in class connects alone if each class had a class connect each day.

The school advertises flexibility and working at your own pace. That is only true for elementary school and middle school. That was the biggest reason we chose be able to work at our own pace....(which was usually ahead anyway)....but avoid stress...take downtime if we wanted to or when you needed to...they provide the curriculum and materials in case I did not have time to plan things out...and you would get an accredited high school diploma. Now if you take off or have vacation....all the work and assignments pile up and you somehow have to magically catch back up in addition to doing the current assignments.

You work better in the afternoons than mornings....but many classes will begin in the mornings. Sure you could watch recorded links if they have been recorded.....but  you would be doing school work till midnight. No longer would I be your teacher but instead you would have teachers and guidance counselors and all the same stuff you have in a regular brick and mortar school. I think some parents like that..but some like us do not really need all that and if I wanted you to have it that would still be attending a regular brick and mortar public school.

No more block scheduling of courses instead of picking when you want to do what is assigned...every day...each class....everything with due dates...etc. Gone are the days you can do all English or Art or Math one day and Science the next or in any combination you combining 2 classes of Art together into one day. No working ahead...etc.

You would obviously keep all your IEP accommodations but those have pretty much been trimmed down to the bare necessities and really only applied anymore to test taking as you do well academically....but OHVA is like many schools now....all gearing toward teaching for state mandated testing ONLY. SO much is being left out or lost because everything is done to prepare you all to only fill in bubbles....memorize things you will likely never use again in your lifetime...I could go on and on  but I am not going to invest that much time or energy into least not right now. 

So come fall, if not before..we will branch back out into homeschooling again on our own. I have already notified OHVA about this...and we know what to do as we have homeschooled before. I can give you a diploma myself when you graduate as I keep track of all your courses and grades and you will even have a transcript. MANY employers and even colleges accept these and/or would only require you to test as anyone else beforehand to show what you already know. I am not worried about any of that now.

I have my work cut out for me as I need to work with  you also this year on life skills...learning how to write well enough to fill out applications or paperwork....sign your name....keep a budget and pay bills...write checks...balance a checking laundry and outside as well as many things. You will also pick some things you wish to learn about this next year ...we will have MANY MORE field trips and to be honest...we are both excited about the way we used to learn together in our homeschooling so I do think these next 4 years will  be a lot of fun for you and me! SO MANY things continue to change regarding virtual online schools and homeschooling and public schools and state testing...etc.

So...lots of changes coming up for us again, but I know you will do well.

I love you Noah.


Friday, May 17, 2013

oh I guess it is fixed...just takes a LONG TIME to upload pics on Blogger

Noah at the Abraham Lincoln traveling exhibit.....

issues with Blogger

I will update once I get the bugs worked out. I have not been able to post pics now for over a month

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Dear Noah...trying to decide about your high school years....

and what to do ...whether to stick with online virtual school or go back to doing it on our own. You are currently enrolled and have been since about 4th grade in an online public charter school...and now are already almost complete with your 8th grade, as well as 2 high school courses during this year that you will also get credit for...Math and English.

The high school courses and curriculum change CONSIDERABLY, however, and a lot of the "flexibility factor" we need and loved about this particular online school  is pretty much gone in high school. Needless to say we have a lot to think about and decisions to make.

Meanwhile you have really enjoyed your new laptop and meeting and making NEW friends from around the world who also enjoy playing similar games you do. You are using Skype to hook up with them and talk...and I have to say you have become quite the social  butterfly....

Otherwise, winter seems about over and we are heading into spring. You plan on helping me mow this summer. I hope we can manage it okay.

I love you...cannot believe you are growing up so fast.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dear Noah....ongoing toiletry issues, voice cracking and no cures please...


Even at 14 years of age you still have some toiletry issues...which I will not go into since you are now 14 years old...but suffice to say you have made great progress...and likely will always have some issues to deal with in this regard..but you definitely need to always remember to GO when you feel the urge to go! This would eliminate most if not all of your issues my little man!

You submerged headlong into puberty a few years ago...and your voice has been very deep for a long time now...but recently it has started to "crack" quite a bit...which you asked me last night if that was "normal." You were comforted knowing that yes, it is.

Last night you walked into my office and told me that some people were trying to come up with a "cure" for "autism" and you did not understand that....very loudly expressing to me (and perhaps to our neighbors) that you were NOT interested in any cure....and WHY did anyone want to CURE you or get rid of your autism...that you LIKED how you were. In your way of thinking...the only reason you could come up with for someone trying to find a "cure" to "change" you into becoming more like them was the same reason the teachers in the public schools always tried to "change" you to be "like everyone else" make their lives they would not have to put in the extra time or extend themselves a little out of their own comfort zone to just work with you as you are and accept you for who you are and just deal with it.

You informed me that many times just because someone has autism you are singled out and treated unfairly or given "crap" jobs. I think that is what you called it. Basically something less than anyone else would normally be offered....merely because you are different.

We talked about this for a while. I am so thankful you have learned to just EMBRACE who you ARE and not try to change to become what someone else thinks you need to become. I did tell you that many are discriminated against in the world, not just autistic people, but yes they are definitely included and have their own share of issues to deal with..but also overweight people, black people, some white people, Asians, Indians, disabled people..etc...and ALL usually merely because of ignorance and the fact that the person doing the discriminating is the one who is "uncomfortable" with those discriminated against persons being in their world. Such a slippery slope mankind has weaved here to try to determine someone else's value in the world by their own personal biases.

I did tell you there are some autistic people who have it really severe and usually combined with many other issues making their lives very challenging, and maybe some of them would like to change some things to be able to lessen those challenges or eliminate them altogether, but most every autistic person I have ever spoken with, usually feels as you do (if they are aware of their being and surroundings) and have no desire to change just to be in "my" world for example.

SO...stay strong my little man....go boldly as colorful and "different" as you can in expressing yourself and your desire to be accepted as you are, not letting anyone tell you ever that you are not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, "valuable" enough to just even be alive in this world...just as  you are.

I love you Noah....just as you are...always have and always will.